This month I’m introducing an author I met two years ago at The Romantic Times Convention. I can’t recall exactly where we were when our paths crossed, but we’ve been friends ever since. Even though she lives in California, her husband has family only thirty miles from my house. This past spring we were able to have lunch together in Wisconsin.
Kate is soon-to-be published. When I first met her in 2012, she was looking for an agent and publisher to publish her “Meeting Men” series. Her first one, “Playing Doctor”, will be release January 6th, 2015. I’m sure I’ll be one of the first to purchase it. She has another one to released soon after. Help me in welcoming author, Kate Allure.
What or who inspired you to write? I’ve created stories my entire life. A few years ago I stumbled upon my first recorded story about a sailor, written when I was eleven years old. My mother had typed it up and a fellow 5th grader had created illustrations. Surprisingly it wasn’t half bad. I also created dances and wrote plays in my youth. As an adult, much of my career involved nonfiction writing (reports, proposals, newspaper articles), so it was an easy leap back to creating stories. The actual kick-start happened a few years ago when I was laid up for two months following surgery. I had my first short story completed by the time I was up and walking around again. It was so much fun that I haven’t stopped writing since. My current career as an erotic romance author started about two and half years ago.
How do you handle rejections? I was incredibly blessed that my first forays into fiction we’re embraced, but I am working on a nonfiction project that has received rejections from every main publishing house. I try not to take it personally, but it helps that the feedback has been positive.I know the project you’re talking about and it’s an interesting one. Hopefully someone will pick it up.
Have you found trying to get published frustrating? The entire process from pitching to publication is nerve-wracking on some level, but I love it…love every minute that I get to sit and write!
What do you do to keep yourself from giving up? I’m way, WAY, to stubborn to give up. Just not in my nature. Hmmmm. Why is that not surprising? LOL
What do you like to read? Everything, but mostly romances because I’m trying to stay abreast of all the new writers. I’m a very slow reader and it takes me forever. Partly this is because I like getting a feel for the cadence and the voice, which is hard for me if I’m speed-reading. I also like to reread entire pages that I like. Often I skip through every other page to the end of the book because I can’t stand not knowing what’s going to happen and then go back to reread the book from the beginning slowly.
Who are your favorite authors? That’s a hard question to answer—I love the written word in all its forms. I love the classics (everything from Shakespeare to Georgette Heyer to as odd as the limericks of Ogden Nash). If I had pick just a few from current romance authors, I would say Lorraine Heath and Sabrina Jeffries for historic, Jennifer Crusie for sexy contemporary humorous. For erotic, Lisa Renee Jones, Tiffany Reisz, P.C. Cast, the list goes on… I’ve just started reading J. Kenner, and I recently discovered Delphine Dryden and enjoyed her Theory of Attraction very much. It is, perhaps, closest to what I strive for in my writing—realistic, light-hearted stories about real-world archetypes, women meeting men and the fun they have behind closed doors. I’ve read many of your favorites and have to agree with you.
What’s on your keeper shelf? Everything. I can’t part with books. Keep them all, even the ones I don’t particularly like. It’s a real problem. Ask my DH! Maybe we should get a storage unit? I recently read this about having so many books: “You know you’re a book-a-holic when your house starts looking like a library!” I have a hard time parting with mine, too.
Do you enter contests? Have you won any? Early on, I entered the American Idol “Voice” Competition at the 2013 RT Booklovers Convention. I was thrilled to be a finalist, and, while I didn’t win, one of the judges asked for the “full” manuscript. She is now my wonderful agent Louise Fury of The Bend Agency. At the time, just being a finalist felt amazing—it was my first indication that my writing was acceptable on some level. Before that I was in a total vacuum with only feedback from my admittedly biased friends and family. Beth James and I were in the audience, cheering you on and were excited you made it into the final round.
What is your Work in Progress? Book one of Club Exotica, due in late 2015. It’s about a posh, exclusive, luxurious, ultra-private club in London where a woman’s every fantasy can be realized. Of course, what ultimately gets realized is true love. Sounds delicious.
What will you do to celebrate when you get a contract? What I did (past tense) to celebrate is now a sentimental memory. In May 2013, about two weeks after I submitted my manuscript, I got “the call.” I almost didn’t answer—didn’t recognize the area code—and when I did pickup I thought I was being “punked” by a friend…it was just too surreal to be believed. Deb Werksman of Sourcebooks was on the phone telling me they wanted to buy the Meeting Men series, and I was sitting there listening but not really comprehending. A few minutes into the call I suddenly realized—THIS IS REAL! Then I got really excited, my heart racing and my palms sweaty. So when I hung up, it was official. I was now a professional author who would write under the penname Kate Allure.
Now to the mini-celebration that still tingles when I think about it. My DH, who’d been staring at me in suspense the whole time, gave me a hug and wanted to hear all about it. I told him there was a bottle of sparkling wine in the fridge, leftover from a party and never opened. I didn’t know what it was called, but said, “It’s the pink bottle.” A couple minutes later, he asked, “Did you do that on purpose?” and I said, “Do what?”
He held up the bottle and showed me. Across the label in big letters read, “Allure.” I laughed and told him that I’d had no idea what brand it was. It gave me the shivers but in a good way. It felt like a good omen, like the fickle universe had given me the thumbs up. And now, of course, any writing milestone has to be celebrated with a glass of Allure sparkling wine. That is so cool! I hope you kept that empty bottle as a souvenir.
How did you choose the genre you write? I find it funny, but I used to read historic romance almost exclusively. However, when I began writing it was contemporary, not even sure why. The erotic part happened because when I started that was what came out… I’ve been told that I’m very good at writing the “naughty bits.”
Are there any genres you wouldn’t write? I write erotic romance and am planning an erotic suspense eventually. I’m driven by what inspires me, what’s fun for me to write.
Where do you like to write? Mostly at the large desk I share with my DH, really more of a table with me on one side and him on the other. Sometimes on the couch. Sometimes in the back yard on a nice day. Sometimes on an airplane. When I get those few sparse minutes to write I’m happy pretty much anywhere.
Do you write long-hand or use a computer or both? I only write on computer. I’ve tried using the voice to text feature. Would like to get better at that, then I’m freed up to do other things with my hands. Multitasking, you know. I’ve thought about using the voice feature, but then I’d have to listen to myself all the time. I’m not sure I could handle that!
What is on your desk right now? This very minute: Our sleeping, grumpy, orange cat (yes, we have cats…it seems one can’t be an erotic writer without cats), also a vase with six pink roses that are a little past their prime, and a whole lot of messy papers everywhere.
If you could write anywhere you wanted, where would it be? I fantasize about having a month in a tiny little shack on an island somewhere with the sparkling blue water stretching out before me. (Maybe my DH will read this. Hint, hint) Sounds like my dream place. No phones, no television. Just me, my notebook and my hubby. Oh, and don’t forget someone to bring us drinks.
Do you go to conferences? Yes: RT Booklovers, RWA, and, in my first ever appearance as published author, I’ll be participating in the 50 Shades of Romance conference in Seattle, February 13-15, 2015. If you love erotic romance, this is for you. http://www.50shadesofromance.com
What are your outside interests? Travel, travel, travel, and conducting research for my books with my loving husband (wink, wink).I bet people ask if you use your “real life” as your inspiration. I know I get that all the time.
Do you have a day job?No. And yes, one that doesn’t pay money…three teenagers (two with mild autism that require much of my time).
Does your family support or understand your dream? Yes, very supportive.
Do you have a degree? B.S. in Dance with a minor in Arts Administration.
Do you listen to music when you write? What kind? All kinds. Current hits, classical, and the piano when my teens and DH are practicing—love that!
What happens when you get a story idea? I try to type an outline as soon as possible. Earlier this week I discovered I could record into my cell phone, and made two recordings while driving of ideas I’d thought about while at the gym. Then I emailed them to myself. What a great idea. I’ll have to remember that.
Are you a morning, afternoon or night person? Definitely a night person. It’s 11:30pm after working straight through the night last night till 5:30am on a deadline, but now that it’s night again I’m bright eyed. It’s my curse!
I often have people say, “It must be nice to work at home, you can work in your pajamas,” which I don’t, but what do you wear when you write? Whatever I have on. I’ve found myself still typing madly away at 3 pm in my bathrobe. Embarrassing when I have to answer the door.
Do you set goals? Mostly, I’m deadline driven; otherwise I procrastinate. Usually I allow myself a brief respite from writing after a deadline for such things as planning trips or watching sci-fi with my guys. Any specific ones? To sell enough books to help pay for kids’ college education, then maybe some for retirement too!
Do you have any pets? Yes…cats!!! Erotic writers have to have cats. Check it out…every website features their cats. Also, we have a dog, giant rabbit (really I mean huge…bigger than a small dog), and a hermit crab. Thankfully my future zoologist teen cares for all the animals.
The doctor will see you now…
In “The Intern,” the temperature of Dr. Lauren Marks’s office quickly rises when her new medical intern Courtney turns out to be a passionate and sexy young man.
Valerie realizes all of her fantasies when her sexy surgeon and her loving husband team up to offer her some extra-special treatment in “My Doctor, My Husband, and Me.”
Nikki gets more than she bargained for in “Seize the Doctor” when the hot guy she recently met at a bar walks into her exam room wearing a white coat. Good thing she wore her sexiest lingerie.
Three sizzling-hot erotic romance stories to stoke your mood.
Links to buy: Pre-Order now at these retailers:
Barnes & Noble
Join Club Kate: For exclusive insider access and be entered in a giveaway drawing for Something Naughty and Something Nice! …including a nice Kate Allure beach bag, a naughty little surprise, and a copy of her debut, Playing Doctor. Come at check it out at http://www.KateAllure.com